Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Coach Jo's Rants #3: I Love Frozen Peas
I love frozen peas. When I was a kid, I used to ask my mom if I could just eat them that way. She’d cook the heck out of them, and I couldn’t stand their consistency. My sister and I would have contests at dinner to see who could hide more of her peas. She’d mix them in to her mashed potatoes. I’d take a mouthful of peas, then a gulp of milk….and then I’d spit all the peas into my milk glass (we must have drank whole milk, because you couldn’t see the peas through the milk). I’d win.
In high school, I had what was known as a ‘Zero Period’ class. It met from 6:55 am to 7:45 am. And it was Calculus (we had some mean administrators, let me tell you). Anyhow, being a teenager, I never woke up in time to have breakfast before going to Zero Period. I’d roll out of bed at the last possible second and race to the school in my ’69 Camaro Berlinetta (thanks, dad!), all the while wondering if I’d done my homework on derivatives correctly. I’d plop down in class with my travel mug of coffee and my Ziploc bag filled with….you guessed it….frozen peas. People would look at me funny (including the teacher), but I didn’t care. Frozen peas are brain food, I tell ya!
It wasn’t until much later in life….like 15 years later…that I learned of yet another fantastic use of frozen peas (which I’m sure you all know…). You can use them instead of ice when icing an injury. I was reminded of this application late last week. Here’s the story:
Last Wednesday, I was in a minor fender bender. Don’t get concerned…I’m fine! I was driving on a two lane road, and a woman was making a right turn out of a parking lot onto the road. She made one hell of a wide right turn. Right into my driver side rear bumper!!! It jarred my car hard enough that I shouted a few choice expletives before stopping the car to inspect the damage. I pulled over, set my e-brake, and got out of the car. Here’s the kicker…the woman who hit me kept driving!!! I was (LIVID, FURIOUS, INCREDULOUS) quite upset by this behavior, and in the most adult manner possible, I stomped around my car, flailing my arms wildly in an attempt to get noticed by her so that she would stop.
She did. Eventually. About thirty feet away, facing the opposite direction so that she could make a quick get away. When she exited her mini-van, she put her hands on her hips and shouted (she had to shout because she was THIRTY FEET AWAY), “I mean…is there even any damage?” She sounded exasperated. (SHE sounded exasperated? She didn’t know the first thing about exasperated. Short-tempered. Furious.) I (not so) casually shouted back, “Have you even looked at your car?” At this point, she strolled to the front of her vehicle and glanced at her front bumper. Her response, “I mean…the bumper is separated, but I’ll just get that fixed….Are you okay?”
Am I okay. Am I okay? (LIVID. FURIOUS. INCREDULOUS. She was going to just drive away. She was going to HIT someone and just drive away!) Am I okay? As best I could tell, physically, I was a little shaken up, maybe somewhat jarred. Emotionally, my very short-temper was about to burst into flames. Knowing that restraint is not my strong suit, I SHOUTED back, “Thanks for asking.” (The Italics are used to emphasize the not-so-nice-ness of my tone.) At that point, I stomped back into my car and drove away. I was afraid that if I stayed there one second longer, I might have punched her.
Okay, so you’re thinking, “Nice rant, Jo.” It has a point. I swear. (My sister always appreciates when my stories have points. It’s rarer than you’d think.) When I got home that night, my back was twingy. (This might have had something to do with the fact that, after the incident, I went and ran for 6 miles. I know, I know. Bad idea. But here’s the skinny. For the last five years, whenever I’ve had a problem, I’ve gone on a run. Team In Training taught me to do that. Of course, I run best when I’m angry. And I had a great run that night.) As I was getting cleaned up and thinking about scheduling a massage, I remembered the bag of frozen peas that I had in my freezer. I think I actually bought them about three years ago. To eat. Frozen. But since that time, they have served a much greater purpose of icing a multitude of twinges, whether from runs, bike rides or minor fender benders. I sat on the couch, with the peas pressed against my back and thought, “I love frozen peas.”